Few nations can compete with Nepal in regards to simultaneously serene and terrifying scenery. But while geography may be Nepal’s claim to fame, the cuisine of this little nation wedged between India and Tibet has continued to experience a surge in popularity over the past several years.
Manchester, NH recently welcomed it’s third Nepali restaurant, and it’s by far the most elusive of the bunch.
Tucked away inside Bunny’s Superette on Webster Street, Gurung’s kitchen is a tiny takeout counter specializing in Nepali home-cooking. It’s the type of place that’s easy to accidentally stumble into, and while it may seem like an odd addition to a grocery store, it’s easily one of the most affordable and unique lunch options in the city.
The most well-known dish is momo: diminutive filled dumplings eaten across Nepal, Tibet and India.
A simple white flour-and-water dough is rolled out, stuffed with ground vegetables or meat, sealed, and either steamed or deep fried. The steamed variety has a light, somewhat elastic exterior, while fried momo resemble the crispiest crab rangoon you’ve ever had.
Momo can be presented in various shapes; the only limitations are the creativity and dexterity of the chef. At Gurung’s kitchen, they assume a traditional ridged purse shape perfect for dunking into tongue-tingling chutney. Each purse is filled with ground pork, chicken, vegetables or buffalo (when available).
For a spicier version, customers can opt for Gurung’s chili momo. This variety features fried dumplings cloaked in an aromatic tomato-based sauce spiked with chilies and green peppers. The dark red condiment contributes a bold, sweet-spicy flavor to the dish. A pinch of fresh cilantro adds a spark of brightness, rounding out the package.
For an entirely different dumpling experience, try Jhol Momo. Here, steamed dumplings come bathed in a thin, bracing chutney known as Jhol Achar which acts as both a sauce and a richly flavored broth to be eaten on its own.
The dumpling marathon concludes with shapale. These large, half moon-shaped pockets are filled with ground meat and deep-fried.
The menu extends beyond stuffed pockets to include Nepali chowmein, fried rice and a Himalayan rice noodle soup called Thukpa. Counter the battery of spices with a soothing cup of milk tea or a refreshing mango lassi (for the shockingly low price of $0.99 and $1.99, respectively).
As a matter of fact, nothing on the menu wanders north of $9 (!)
Gurung’s is primarily a takeout operation, but a single table and small counter are available for dine-ins. When ordering takeout, calling ahead is recommended.
The combination of global flavors, convenience and friendly customer service will surely enable Gurung’s kitchen to garner a massive following. Be a part of that following by visiting them any day of the week at 75 Webster Street in Manchester.
Originally Published Through unconventionaleatsnh.com